One girl’s dream to help whole town

CRESCO - Once upon a time, there was a little girl with a big dream.
Is this a fairy tale?
This is a real girl, with a big dream that she is hoping to make come true.
Olivia Hollenbeck has had this dream for about three months. Her dream — goal,  now — is to raise money to help improve the playground at Evans Park in Cresco. The picture in her mind is of happy children playing at the park — laughing, smiling, playing, walking or in a wheelchair. She sees a park where all kids can play — adults, too.
Olivia weeded, picked up sticks and sold things. On the table where people paid, she had a rainbow jar for donations and a short story about her dream. People donated, asked her questions and encouraged her.
One lady stopped by just to donate because she heard about Olivia’s dream. A neighbor donated and another and another. Olivia registered online and received her first donation from that.
Then she was invited to the American Legion Riders meeting because they wanted to make a donation. It was a school night, so the Riders offered to hold their meeting early.
That was just the first step of kindness and consideration shown. Olivia and her family were so surprised when three groups each presented her with a $500 check.
The American Legion Cresco Post 135, Howard County VFW Post 4561 and Legion Riders Post 135 each gave a short talk to thank Olivia for sharing her dream and working towards it. Then big applause for a little girl. She was speechless, but did manage to give one big, enthusiastic, “Thank You!”
The Cresco Area Chamber of Commerce, City Hall and Park Department have also been helpful and supportive with many ideas. 
Because of the cost, it was suggested that clubs, groups or families would prefer to sponsor one exact piece of equipment. Their name would be posted on that piece. It sounds like a plan with possibilities.
Olivia is searching for grants, also. A lot of learning is going on, along with dreaming. She knows that any size donation helps. 
The eight-year-old  is sure her dream for Evans Park will come true, especially with help from others. 
Submitted by Karen Steffen

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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